Our intention in Paris was to connect with educators at a ‘system level’, rather than visit schools.
We met with François Bocquet, Chargé de la prospective au NumériLab at the French Ministry of Education. His role would translate to “Director of Innovative and Digital Technologies”.
Our connection with Francois is via Hapara an NZ Start-Up, (now global), that began in our school and is currently assisting with ChromeBook roll-outs in France. I had met Francois the year before when I attended Ludovia and our visit was to gain a system level understanding of whether and how we might continue to be involved as France considers “Digitising” the Learning Delivery, with some learners belonging to a population similar to ours.
Our conversation left us grateful to be working in NZ education, as although our experience sometimes feels incoherent, at least we are to a greater extent, “masters of our own fate!”
We spent an enjoyable evening at Le Chalet Saint-Michel, near Notre Dame, with Francois. We can't say we hadn't be warned, but we succumbed to his urging to order Fondue Savoyarde aux 3 Fromages, Raclette and Reblochonade. Fortunately we had a brisk walk home afterwards.
The next day we caught an Uber to the OECD where we met with David Istance, Senior Analyst, Project Leader, Directorate for Education and Skills, Innovative Teaching and Learning.
This visit had a similar theme to all of our visits; what are the themes and emergent patterns and learnings when considering Innovative Pedagogies for Powerful Learning? In particular, we were looking forward to discussing the global tension between the ‘Knowledge Based Metrics’ which are driving the “League Table Effect” created by PISA Testing and analysis, and the idea of Creative and Innovative Pedagogies to produce C21 Graduate Attributes. David acknowledged that this was a real problem and that the OECD were realising they needed to adjust their focus somewhat. David put us in touch with the leaders of two “Equity and Access” projects in different parts of the world who we have already corresponded with and will be able to work with going forward.
After extended conversation we walked downstairs and continued over lunch. It was a bit posh to feel comfortable taking photos of the food!